There are always some crazy quirks when it comes to the NFL schedule and this year is no different. The one weird thing about quirks is that not all of them are created equally. Some teams will be happy about the quirks on their schedule while plenty of other teams won’t be so thrilled with the quirks they’re handed by the league office.
So who got the craziest quirks? That’s a great question, so let’s find out.
Here are 11 of the weirdest quirks on the 2022 NFL schedule.
Bears will be spending December at home.The Bears got an especially unique scheduling quirk: They don’t play a SINGLE road game during the month of December, marking the first time that’s happened to the Bears since 1964. The Bears will play a home game against the Packers in Week 13 (Dec. 4). They have a bye in Week 14 (Dec. 11) and then they follow that up with a home game in Weeks 15 (Dec. 18) and 16 (Dec. 24). Although they do play a road game in Week 17, that game falls on Jan. 1, which means they have ZERO road games in December.
Chiefs get handed killer opening schedule. With their 2022 schedule, the Chiefs will become the first team in NFL history to open a season with eight straight games against teams that finished above .500 the prior season (Via Elias Sports Bureau). The stretch starts in Week 1 when they travel to Arizona and then continues to Week 9. Here’s a look at their brutal opening eight-game gauntlet: At Cardinals, Chargers, at Colts, at Buccaneers, Raiders, Bills, 49ers, bye, Titans.
Jets and Ravens with bizarre start to schedule. The Jets will start the season by playing every team in the AFC North over the first four weeks marking the first time since the 1970 merger that the Jets have played four straight games against the same division at any point in a season. On the Ravens’ end, they’ll be starting the season with four straight games against the AFC East, marking the first time they’ve opened the season against four teams from the same division.
Commanders go back-to-back. The Commanders have an especially unique quirk on their schedule: They’ll be playing back-to-back games against the Giants starting in Week 13. After playing on the road in New York that week, the Commanders will have a bye in Week 14 before playing host to the Giants in Week 15. This marks just the second time since 1991 that an NFL team has played back-to-back regular-season games against the same an opponent. That being said, the NFL is clearly getting more comfortable with the idea because the only other time it happened over the past 30 years came last season with the Browns facing the Ravens in back-to-back games.
Rough road to start the season. There are only three teams in the NFL who will have to play their first TWO games on the road this year and those teams are: The Buccaneers, Colts and Patriots.
Rough road to end the season. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are seven teams that will close out the season with two straight road games, however, only two of those teams will get stuck playing two straight DIVISIONAL road games to close the season: The Vikings and Panthers.
Bye, bye, bye. The Texans are facing three teams that will be coming off a bye this year, which is the most in the NFL. That’s not ideal since teams will be getting extra rest and preparation time prior to playing Houston. On the other end of the spectrum, there are seven teams who will be facing a total of zero opponents coming off a bye: Bills, Lions, Broncos, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Bears, Commanders.
AFC West is the best. The four AFC West teams are currently scheduled to make a total of 19 primetime appearances in 2022, which is tied for the second-most in the Super Bowl era, according to NFL research. The only division to get scheduled for more primetime games was the NFC East in 2015.
Week 14 bye. The Falcons, Bears, Packers, Colts, Saints and Commanders have all landed a Week 14 bye, which is notable for two reasons. First, it’s tied for the latest scheduled bye that any team has ever been given since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002. Teams seem to prefer having a later bye and last season proved why: 2021 was the only time since 2002 where teams were given a Week 14 bye and all four teams that received a bye that week ended up finishing the year with a winning record.
Three teams shut out of Amazon’s debut season of “Thursday Night Football.” This season will mark the first time ever that Amazon will exclusively have the Thursday night package and for the inaugural year, 29 of the league’s 32 teams will be making an appearance on Amazon Prime. The three that won’t? The Giants, Vikings and Lions. That being said, all three of them will get to play a Thursday game this year and that’s because all three will be playing on Thanksgiving.
Extra long road trip. The Packers, Dolphins, Eagles and Chiefs have one big thing in common this year: They’re the only teams in the league that have to play three consecutive road games. Although that’s not ideal, NFL teams that get stuck with a three-game road trip on the schedule are 22-11 on those trips since 2018.
Hopefully you can impress all of your friends this weekend with your quirky knowledge of the NFL schedule.